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How to make sense of Facebook's marketing policies

Matt Kapko | Nov. 25, 2014
Facebook says it knows its marketing policies are confusing. In an attempt to clarify, a Facebook policy manager recently broke down some of the specific guidelines and explained how the rules apply to promotions, 'Likes,' donations and sharing.

Facebook Sharing
 Hendrix clarified Facebook's policy on sharing and specified that companies can never post on a user's behalf. 

When brands ask for a users' permission to share on their timelines it's just a technical grant to allow those users to share from a brand's post, Hendrix says. "That doesn't mean that [the brand] just gets to start dropping posts on my wall... It's about consent."

Facebook also discourages brands from asking users to take action and use the brand's voice on their behalf. "Just let people share and communicate about your brand because they're excited about it," she says.

Marketers can use incentives to motivate users to login to apps, check-in to venues or comment on brand pages, but not on their personal timelines. "We're just trying to maintain true authentic communication from the person," says Hendrix.

Finally, one of the biggest Facebook marketing no-nos: tagging users in posts for promotions. Hendrix says she's been reluctant to formalize a policy on the practice because the outcome is so clearly spam.

Ultimately, it's all about the user. "You have to put the user experience first and at the forefront," Hendrix says, otherwise you're doing a disservice to the brand, Facebook and its users.


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